Today we had a really fun day that included going to the cattle barn (auction) for the first time. I’m sure I’ll talk about that later. 😉 But even in the midst of fun, simple days, I sometimes will have these reoccurring moments of stress. Or anxiety. Or a motherhood meltdown. Call it whatever you want. Out of nowhere! Why? Why all of a sudden?? On this particular day it was due to several demands from my children that in my eyes were completely unnecessary but not really enough to warrant going from fine and dandy to Cruella De Vil in .047 seconds.
And in this moment of frustration and anxiety I will start having thoughts…
“Seriously, you are such an impatient mean mom. I mean….do you even like your kids?”
“They are probably going to grow up thinking you don’t like them… Congratulations on THAT accomplishment.”
“You seriously have considered having more children? you can’t be serious, you can barely handle what’s going on right now. Add another baby, great plan of action!”
“I bet no other mom does this. All the other moms are so patient and precious and soft spoken with their baby angels.”
“You shouldn’t be a mom. It’s such an important job and you are pretty much terrible at it.”
So there I am feeling utterly defeated and just swimming in my sobby pitiful feelings of self loathing which I know is TOTALLY NOT from God. And here is what happened.
I went to Jason, more than once actually, and in complete aggravation said “Why do I get so irritated sometimes? And why do I feel compelled to convey that irritation to our kids? What, in that moment, convinces me that gritting teeth or a frustrated tone in my voice or a great big sigh and roll of my eyes, that those things will make me feel better? They don’t! Why do I do it? It’s not edifying to anyone.”
He proceeds to be very empathetic “well they have been pretty much in your face all day. You really never get a break. It’s understandable.” which was a sweet and appreciated gesture. But there was something about confessing my sin out loud that made me recognize “I NEED JESUS!” I missed my quiet time and had basically been quenching my Spirit every way possible today. No Christian music, no reading Gods Word or conversation with him, nada. So that whole input-output thing really applies here. I speak to moms here because we are often the worst, rightfully so, about excuses. But we have to make the time to be with Jesus, in Gods Word and in prayer. It is so hard, I know, and we can even have dry spells where we either think we are doing ok with out or we know our need but feel like we just can’t get going or we just don’t care (I’ve been in all 3 camps) but eventually it hits us.
“I can not do this apart from God. I need rescue! I need strength. I need Jesus. Help!! SOS!!!”
Spiritual warfare is a very real thing and satan will bait your thoughts with little bits of truth. He can get you so tangled up in your mind that you are convinced you are doomed or worse! (Because sometimes there is a worse right?!) The worst thing for me to do is chase those rational yet irrational thoughts down that rabbit hole into crazyland. I need to talk about it with someone I trust to relieve it off my mind and heart. I need someone who can both empathize and direct me to the path of obedience and truth if needed.
I am reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges and learning so much. At one point he writes “God does not require a perfect, sinless life to have fellowship with Him, but He does require we be serious about our holiness, that we grieve over sin in our lives instead of justifying it, and that we earnestly pursue holiness as a way of life.”
I want to pursue holiness! I do not want to grieve my Heavenly Father with my sin. I want to be pleasing to him and I want my family to see the evidence of him in me.
The verse I have recently been putting to memory tells us “For God is working within you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases him.” Philippians 2:13
At the end of the evening Caleb woke up crying and we were all still out on the front porch so I brought him out to rock. It was one of the sweeter moments in our day. As I sat there rocking him I knew I wasn’t a bad, mean, terrible mom. Satan did not win at convincing me of that. I do need Jesus though, every second I can have him.
I know how powerful my thoughts are. I know how they make me feel and act. It’s hard being a mom. There are times when fear and guilt try to rule me. But I am holding on to this promise. God is at work giving me the desire AND POWER to do what pleases him. I hope my fellow moms will grab on to this promise too. When you sense the devil trying to get a foothold open your Bible, get on your knees, turn on a podcast, some Christian music, (Hillsong and Passion are my “go to” for those tougher times) or call a Christian friend. Do something that draws you into Jesus. Sometimes we convince ourselves we are alone, but we are not.
God is for us and he is with us!
(Are you singing it yet?) 😉